Nobody knows our products
better than we do. By taking
distribution in-house we control
every stage and provide the best
WINNING WITH CUSTOMERS
the correct specifications and branding for each specific
customer, and it's all carried out by trained technicians.
When it comes to facilities, Ton is also proud of their
green credentials. "Sustainability is taken seriously by
every HEINEKEN operation, including us. Being in control
of the logistics means that we can be 100% confident
we're taking every measure possible to reduce our
environmental footprint. We look at everything, from LED
lighting in the warehouse and 100% recycling of plastic
and paper to minimising our use of space. Even our
location next to our main brewery in Zoeterwoude gives
us access to more environmentally responsible forms of
transport, such as boat."
Ton has a solid reputation within HEINEKEN for finding
solutions, so was extremely active in resolving some of
the initial challenges. "Most of the initial issues were
due to missing or inaccurate information. For example,
estimates of volumes being way lower than reality, or
product packaging measurements being unavailable.
But once again, being in-house, we are able to offer
more flexibility and go in search of missing information
internally ourselves. The difference is that internally,
we're quality driven whereas in many instances, third
parties are cost driven. Furthermore, HEINEKEN is our
only customer, so they receive 100% of our focus."
As a result of this focus on quality, Ton's team has also
implemented a process for continuous improvement.
They are fully involved at an early stage in the innovation
process for new products. This results in additional
efficiencies, such as tweaks to the design that potentially
speed up assembly, reduce stock holding, or simply ensure
that the team receive specifications with sufficient detail.
The in-house team's distribution experience can also be
called upon to look at ways of avoiding quality issues.
"When this was outsourced, a quality manager was
employed," explains Ton. "But it's far more effective to
look at quality from the bottom up. The people best
equipped to spot potential issues are the people who
are handling or assembling these units on a daily basis.
They know our products inside out, and have first
hand experience of weak points in terms of packaging,
assembly or storage. In short, through in-sourcing we
control every stage of distribution, from inbound through
assembly to outbound delivery to the market.
"Of course, on the rare occasions that something does
go wrong, I personally make sure it's fixed and doesn't
happen again. I'm happy to say, we've only had one issue
since we started, so this doesn't take up much of my time.
And I intend to keep it that way!"
Being in control allows
HEINEKEN to reduce the
environmental footprint in the
Edition 1 2013 World of HEINEKEN 19